It Costs Roughly $241,000 To Raise a Child in The United States Today

We know children are expensive. But do you really know just how expensive having a kid these days is?

Apparently, raising a kid from birth to age 17 will set you back about $241,000. That's between $12,000 and $15,00 per year. Those numbers are according to a new report released by the Department of Agriculture, which took a look at how much it would cost to provide housing, food, clothing, health care, education, and other expenses for a child born in the year 2012. The cost of raising a child has climbed nearly 3 percent since last year.

According to the report, the most costly segment of child rearing is housing — which takes up nearly one-third of total costs — followed by childcare and education, then food.

Cost increased from 2011 because parents are spending more on childcare, education, healthcare, and clothes. The child rearing costs represent average spending for middle-income families. While lower income families spent less on raising kids, the money that they did spend represented a higher percentage of their total income. Low income households spent about 16 percent of their annual income on their kids, while higher income families spent about 12 percent. According to the report, about one-third of women said it was difficult to afford basic necessities, like diapers.

The annual report on the cost of raising kids has been coming out since the 1960s. Back then, the average cost over 17 years amounted to about $25,000, which adjusted for inflation, would be about $196,000 today. When the report was first released, costs for things like healthcare were about half of today's prices. Families were barely spending money on childcare, which made up two percent of total expenses in 1960, but accounts for 18 percent of expenses now.

Raising a child in the U.S. is of course more expensive than raising one elsewhere. Subsidies or free childcare in other developed nations drastically reduce a family's overall costs. Here, the increased cost of having a kid starts in the delivery room. The average cost of a vaginal delivery in the U.S. can add up to a whopping $30,000 — six times more than what it would cost in a country like France.